St Teresa’s is committed to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of all children. The school has a Designated Safeguarding Lead: Mrs McHale and 3 Deputy Safeguarding Leads: Mrs Picken, Mrs B Sohker, Mrs Price.
The school works hard to support families when issues first arise. The school does this in conjunction with Wolverhampton’s Early Help Offer.
What is Early Help?
‘Early Help’ means providing help for children, young people and families as soon as problems start to emerge or where it is likely that issues will impact negatively on children’s outcomes.
- Is for children of all ages and not just the very young,
- Can be provided at any point of need and;
- Can be very effective in supporting a child, young person and/or their family to step down from statutory services as well as preventing the escalation of issues.
- Is important because there is clear evidence that it results in better outcomes for children.
Early help is a term that describes much of the everyday work of schools.
Early Help in Wolverhampton
The vision of all partner organisations working with children and families in Wolverhampton is to improve children’s lives by working in partnership to raise aspirations, build achievement and protect the most vulnerable.
This is based on the belief that:
- Families and communities have many strengths that support parents as the primary carers for their children and contribute to building resilience and independence in families
- Children, young people and families develop resilience if there are protective factors in place such as: a positive relationship with an adult; good literacy and communication skills; good school attendance; and, parents in or actively seeking/ready for work
- Children’s needs are best met when help is offered in a universal setting within a socially mixed group and early on when problems start to emerge
- Children and young people’s needs are best met when addressed in the context of the whole family, meaning that parents/carers/siblings’ needs are addressed with consent as part of a holistic and integrated Early Help response
Early help services should support and strengthen families so that they can thrive.
The Role of St Teresa’s Catholic Primary Academy
Day to Day Support
Most families, most of the time, can get on with their lives quite happily with little or no outside help. If they need help it is usually provided by universal services, such as schools. This can include the day-to-day support provided to pupils and their families by staff within the school.
Focused Pastoral Support
All families can have times, however, when difficulties arise and they either may not recognise it or may not know how to start putting things right. Without the right support early on, situations can easily get worse very quickly. Schools play a role in supporting families to address these difficulties through more focused pastoral support, which might include bringing in support via an external agency.
Early Help Assessment
For those children and families whose needs and circumstances make them more vulnerable, or where schools need the support of other agencies to meet the needs of the family, a coordinated multi-agency approach is usually best. In Wolverhampton this is achieved through undertaking an Early Help Assessment and assigning a Lead Practitioner to work closely with the family to ensure they receive the support they require. Schools should be a key partner in any multi-agency work to support families.
School Commitments to the Early Help Offer
The following four commitments have been agreed as non-negotiable elements to St Teresa’s Catholic Primary Academy
By signing up to and implementing these commitments St Teresa’s can ensure:
- Pupils, parent/carers and staff are clear on the Early Help support available through the Academy
- Clarity for partners, supporting improved multi-agency working
- It is up-to-date with local approaches to the delivery of early help support for more vulnerable families
- Helps evidence your Academy’s commitment to the personal development and well being strand of the Ofsted Framework
For further information on how St Teresa’s Catholic Primary Academy can support your child and family, please contact St Teresa’s Catholic Primary Academy.